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Leonardo DiCaprio as 'The Great Gatsby,' Vampire Saoirse Ronan in 'Byzantium'

'The Great Gatsby': Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan as Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan

The first official The Great Gatsby pictures became available online a few days ago. Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton, Jason Clarke, and Isla Fisher star in this latest big-screen version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's most famous novel. The film was directed by Moulin Rouge filmmaker Baz Luhrmann, who became world news after injuring his head a week or so ago.

Set shortly after the end of World War I, The Great Gatsby is told through the eyes of Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire), a returning war veteran who becomes part of the upper-class universe of Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), who is obsessed with the memory of his long-past affair with the now married Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan).

'The Great Gatsby' at the movies

There have been (at least) three previous The Great Gatsby adaptations for the big screen:

  • The 1926 version is now lost; only the trailer remains. Directed by future Oscar nominee Herbert Brenon (Sorrell and Son, 1927-28), the silent starred future Oscar winner Warner Baxter (In Old Arizona, 1928-29) as Jay Gatsby and Lois Wilson as Daisy Buchanan.
  • The hard-to-find 1949 version of The Great Gatsby toplined Alan Ladd, then one of Paramount's top stars, and Betty Field. Elliott Nugent, whose career consisted mostly of B movies and programmers, directed. The extensive supporting cast included MacDonald Carey, Ruth Hussey, Barry Sullivan, Howard Da Silva, and future two-time Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner Shelley Winters (The Diary of Anne Frank, 1959; A Patch of Blue, 1965). The film was not a critical success.
  • The eagerly awaited 1974 version directed by Jack Clayton turned out to be a critical flop and a commercial disappointment (considering the expectations) despite a cast that included Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby, Mia Farrow as Daisy, in addition to Karen Black, Scott Wilson, Bruce Dern, Sam Waterston, and, once again, Howard Da Silva.

Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby opens – in 3D – on Dec. 25, '12.

Byzantium vampire Saoirse Ronan Caleb Landry Jones'Byzantium': Vampire Saoirse Ronan and Caleb Landry Jones.

'Byzantium': Image of vampire Saoirse Ronan and Caleb Landry Jones

Images from the set of Neil Jordan's Byzantium have been released online. In the picture above you get to see Saoirse Ronan either about to bite or to rescue – both? – Caleb Landry Jones. In the film, Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nominee Ronan (Atonement, 2007) plays the vampire daughter of Gemma Arterton, who also happens to enjoy some viscous red juice every now and then.

Adapted to the screen by Jane Eyre and Tamara Drewe screenwriter Moira Buffini, who also happens to be the author of the original play (titled A Vampire Story), Byzantium also features the following:

Jonny Lee Miller. Sam Riley. Daniel Mays. Uri Gavriel. Thure Lindhardt. Kate Ashfield.

No 'Twilight' rehash

Considering that Byzantium was directed by the man behind the camera on Mona Lisa, Best Picture Oscar nominee The Crying Game, and The End of the Affair, one shouldn't expect a variation on the more audience-friendly Kristen Stewart-Robert Pattinson-Taylor Lautner Twilight movies.

Having said that, in addition to vampires, Byzantium, Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and the two Breaking Dawn movies share one element in common: reddish hair. Think Rachelle Lefevre and Bryce Dallas Howard as the vindictive vampire Victoria.

Byzantium is expected to hit U.S. theaters later in 2012.


Carey Mulligan and Leonardo DiCaprio The Great Gatsby image: Warner Bros.

Caleb Landry Jones and Saoirse Ronan Byzantium image: IFC Films, via comingsoon.net.

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